Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 10 June 2015
With its perennial presence within the Southern African tourism and transportation sector, the Hyundai H1 has remained a firm favourite over the past couple of years. Now it offers even more even more bang for your buck!For starters, you realise that the latest generation H1, looks very similar to the previous model. There is some method in this however, Hyundai realised just how successful the H1 was and still is within South Africa’s MPV market and decided not to change a winning formula. There are a few minor styling ques which have made there way to the latest generation H1. One of the main differences, comes in terms of the vehicles re-designed sporty new grill and 16″ alloys.Apart from these minor exterior details, the Hyundai H1 has remained a pretty much unchanged package. On the inside, it is business as usual with the H1, interior space is massive. There are three full rows of seating, each completely moveable on their own sliding tracks. The seating is comprised of a 60/40 split and all three rows of benches can be adjusted according the interior configuration required. Unfortunately the seats do not drop flat, this however is a minor compromise when you factor in the vast amount of overall cabin “roominess.” Another minor reservation which I have with the interior, is its strange lack of a rear luggage cover. Despite its enormous interior space. With the updated H1, the vehicle now further features an updated dashboard fascia. The inclusion of an updated radio/media unit blends itself well to an overall well appointed cabin.Achieving high safety standards has obviously been a priority for Hyundai with the recent inclusion of side airbags which are now in addition to the driver and passanger airbags. Further on this front, Hyundai have included steering wheel controls within this latest generation vehicle, which allows for convenient usage of both multimedia and cruise control settings. The multimedia player situated within the H1 remains simple, yet functional. With its ability to make use of USB thumbdrive media, a 3.5mm audio input socket and Bluetooth.Of course the whole point of an MPV is to transport either a large amount of luggage or accommodate many commuters. To achieve this task, you require an engine which delivers substantial amounts of power. In the week I drove the H1, explored the range topping 2.5 litre turbo diesel edition, which offers 125 Kw of power and a very healthy 441 Nm or torque. It is thanks to this mass of torque, that no matter the load, the H1 feels pretty light and nimble for a vehicle of its stature. The Hyundai H1 is also available with a petrol engine which delivers 126 Kw of power and 224 Nm of torque through a slightly smaller naturally aspirated petrol 2.4 litre engine. Hyundai claim both engines deliver good km/l consumption figures with the 2.5 turbo diesel claimed at a combined 9.0L/100Km. Having driven it over the past seven days, I was impressed by how frugal an engine, the 2.5 litre turbo diesel really is. With its large 75-litre fuel tank, the H1 will do around 750 km to a tank of fuel.With the Hyundai H1’s ease of use daily driveability. Nimble on its toes driver response, and interior space which can comfortably seat a group of nine people, the Hyundai H1 has semented itself as a firm favourite within the MPV segment. Further adding to its value, is its price point. This range topper 2.5 litre turbo diesel model comes in at R599,900, which is about 25% less than the entry level VW Caravelle or Mercedes Benz V-Class.With its exceptional capability, size and price, the Hyundai H1 has made quite a name for itself within its segment and with Hyundai’s recent introduction of the brand’s industry leading 7 year/200,000km manufacturer warranty, I can only see this vehicle going from strength to strength.
Watch my video review of my experiences driving the 2016 Hyundai H1 by clicking play below: